霍剛 抽象 2017-005 100x100cm 2017 油彩、畫布
Beyond colors and shapes : A Retrospective of HO Kan
2018.06.09 — 2018.07.09
開幕Opening：2018.06.09 11:00 am
地點Venue：義大利蒙札皇宮美術館 (Villa Reale di Monza, Italy)
1964年，台灣東方畫會的先鋒藝術家—霍剛來到米蘭，開啟了長達五十年的旅義生涯。在這將近六個世紀以來，始終代表著歐洲繪畫頂峰的國度裡，霍剛吸取了義大利繪畫的傳統特色，亦受到當時藝術氛圍影響。在義大利生活期間，結識藝術家Luccio Fontana, Roberdo Crippa, Wifredo Lam, Mario Nigro……等人，畫作風格也逐漸明朗 ; 盡情發揮色彩的誘惑力，同時表現出對形體的追求，將兩者滲透至書道金石的氣韻流動中，奠定了自身的獨特繪畫風格且貫徹至今。不同於一般的冷抽象，霍剛的幾何更帶有東方的靈性思維與詩意。雖受硬邊藝術影響，他卻不採用厚塗的大面積色塊，而是運用不加雕琢的筆法，使畫面有如素描淡彩般地輕快、飄逸。雖然形象的感官功能性被抹去，畫中依舊不難見到各種生活的語彙與童趣感。
In 1964, Ho Kan, a pioneering artist in Taiwan’s Tongfang Art Group, came to Milan, where he would spend the next five decades of his life. In this country, which had represented the peak of European painting for nearly six centuries, Ho absorbed the characteristics of traditional Italian painting and was influenced by the artistic environment of the time. During his time in Italy, he became aquainted with Luccio Fontana, Roberdo Crippa, Wifredo Lam, Mario Nigro, etc., and his style also slowly became bright and open. Bringing the use of colors to its full play and demonstrating his pursuit of forms, the artist combined his colors and forms with the charm of calligraphy and seal carving, establishing his own unique painting style that he has continued until the present day. Unlike the cold abstraction commonly seen, Ho’s geometric expression conveys a sense of Oriental philosophy and poeticness. Although he has been influenced by the hard-edge movement, he steps away from using thick, large color blocks; instead, he uses unadorned brushwork to create his image with lightness and briskness that resemble light-colored sketches. Although his forms do not seem to possess any perceptive function, one can still detect a variety of vocabularies from daily life and a sense of playfulness in his painting.
In the 50s, Ho was attracted to surrealist mysticism and automatism, and concentrated more on the transfiguration of images at that time. After he arrived in Europe, although he had gradually moved away from surrealism, his painting still demonstrated the dark, mystical colors and forms, showing a gloomy, melancholic and affluent atmosphere. After the 70s, Ho adopted the geometric style of hard-edge painting, and became immersed in creating forms and exact arrangement of space in painting. He renounced all symbols and existing rules to search for a fresh aesthetic standard. During this period, Ho leaned towards suprematism heralded by Malevitch, believing that geometric forms were a vehicle of colors and focusing on different combinations of color blocks in the same color scheme. By doing so, he was able to achieve the goal similar to Malevitch’s statement: “the happy liberating touch of non-objectivity drew me out the ‘desert’ where only feeling is real.” After 2000, the colors in Ho’s painting became brighter and more delightful, and the contrast more unified and harmonious. His works in the following decade seemed to be even more inspired. He wielded his brush freely, letting his subconscious run without restraint. His colors were exuberant and vivid, and his forms conveyed a sense of stability and lightheartedness at times and a feeling of rhythmic repetition at others. He also created more concrete images. This body of works has integrated his two major creative styles over the past sixty years, revealing a type of geometric abstraction informed with a surrealist quality.
Due to the heartfelt invitation by the Villa Reale of Monza in the suburb of Milan, this retrospective of Ho Kan showcases the artist’s works created within a span of more than fifty years. The exhibition also features for the first time sculptures created from a collaboration between this diligent abstract master, who is more than eighty years old, and the realist sculptor, Yang Pei-Chen. In between the abstract and the concrete as well as painting and sculpture, these collaborative works collectively materialize an inner/mental space that is beyond colors and forms.
霍剛 (HO Kan)，來自中國南京。曾遠赴義大利，長居米蘭50年，近年返台定居。因緣際會受教於「台灣現代藝術導師」李仲生，以超現實主義畫風聞名。1957年，參加「東方畫會」，成為1960年代達到高峰的「台灣現代藝術運動」代表人物之一。1964年前往義大利米蘭，作品受到硬邊抽象等西方藝術概念影響，結合東方書法、金石印刻等創作元素，以極簡且饒富詩意的視覺語言發展出個人特有的東方抒情抽象。
HO Kan was born in Nanjing, China. Before he came back and settled down in Taiwan, he had lived in Milan, Italy for five decades. Mentored by Li Chun-Shan, “the master of modern art in Taiwan,” Ho was known for his surrealist painting style. In 1957, he joined the Tongfang Art Group, and became one of the representative figures in Taiwanese modern art movement that peaked in the 1960s. In 1964, Ho moved to Milan, where he was influenced by Western artistic concepts, such as hard-edge abstraction. He then incorporated various Asian artistic elements, including calligraphy and seal carving, his work and created a minimalist yet highly poetic visual language that enabled him to form his unique style of Oriental lyrical abstraction.
Ho’s early work showed a surrealist style and was informed with a sense of mysticism and unusualness. At this early stage, he had already begun using geometric forms in his creations. After he moved to Mila, he fully focused on geometric abstraction and concentrated on exploring the nature of painting. He started with fundamental elements in painting, which were point, line, plane and color blocks, and later moved on to the study of the entire composition, in which he discovered the abstract expression suitable to his art. His painting usually starts with the element of point and evolves a philosophical arrangement of the image, in which each element exists in its own way. He adopts the method of reduction to create his work, rendering it simple yet poetic. His body of works forms an inclusive abstract world that echoes the Oriental philosophical concept that all things are mutually embracing and nurturing, which, in turn, gives birth to an infinite world. In 2016, Ho held a large respective at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, entitled Reverberations · HO KAN. His works have been exhibited extensively in Taiwan, China, Italy, Switzerland, etc.
本展法國策展人Sabine Vazieux 非常精彩的論述專文
霍剛 無題 70x100cm 油彩、畫布 1975
霍剛 無題90 60x60cm 油彩、畫布 1990
源起之21 111x193cm 油彩、畫布 2006
抽象2015-066 50×60.5cm 油彩、畫布 2015
象形之2 50x40cm 油彩、畫布 2007
Beyond Colors and Shapes—From the Curator’s Perspective
The Villa Reale (royal palace) in Monza is holding a retrospective of the artist Ho Kan, who is considered one of the great pioneers of Chinese abstraction.
The exhibition is presenting works produced during an artistic career that has spanned almost sixty years, from the 1950s to the 2010s. It highlights his most emblematic abstract geometric paintings, and also traces the evolution of his art by presenting—for the first time—the works he painted in Taiwan in the 1950s. Also presented are his recent paintings and several sculptures produced in collaboration with the sculptor Yang Bei-Chen.
Ho Kan’s artistic career is marked by historical events that immerse us inexorably in the history of China and the extraordinary events that forced him to leave his country and seek refuge in Taiwan in 1949, and subsequently led him to embark for France in 1964 on the oil tanker “Vietnam”; he eventually settled in Milan, where he lived for fifty years.
At the end of the 1940s, he moved to Taiwan, where he gradually discovered Western art and learnt the technique of oil painting, which was relatively unknown in Asia at the time. In the new world that he discovered, he gradually discovered Western Surrealist and abstract art and learnt the technique of oil painting, which was relatively unknown in Asia at the time. The new discoveries enabled him to develop a contemporary style while expressing his deep cultural roots.
At a crossroads between East and West, he developed a unique art that led him to participate in the renewal of twentieth-century Chinese painting.
The 1950s–1970s: From Taipei to Milan
Ho Kan, who came from a family of scholars, was born in Nanjing in 1932. After his father’s premature death, he went to live with his grandfather Ho Rei, a renowned calligrapher who introduced him to art and taught him to paint. Several years later, he entered a military boarding school. Due to political events in China, he moved to Taiwan in 1949 and a year later he enrolled in the Department of Art of Taipei University of Education.
Finding the teaching too traditional, he joined Lee Chun-Shan’s famous studio in 1951, where he was encouraged by the master to develop his individual creativity. During this period, Ho Kan enriched his artistic vocabulary as he discovered new Western movements. He was attracted to the Surrealist style and was inspired to combine different spatial elements and subjects within the same picture. In 1956, Ho Kan joineded the Ton Fan Art Group, along with seven other artists and friends from Lee Chun-Shan’s studio. Breaking away from academicism, the group played a key role in the development of avant-garde art in Taiwan until it dissolved in 1971.
His fascination for Western painting led him to discover Europe and in 1964, he moved to Milan, where he lived for fifty years. He immediately focused on geometric abstraction, while maintaining his Asian cultural influences. During his first Milanese period, Ho Kan used dark blues and greens, echoing the melancholy he felt as a result of his recent exile.
The 1980s–90s: Calligraphic Signs and Forms
During this period Ho Kan used a broader and more exuberant palette of colors.
At first sight, some of his geometric works were closer to Western geometric abstract art, while others were more expressive. He painted small black lines, evoking disconnected Chinese characters that seem to float in the pictorial space, as though randomly blown by the wind. The fresh approach to the representation of signs, which was abstract and poetic, opened up an infinite imaginary repertoire. The circles, squares, triangles, and the space around these forms were all references to Chinese calligraphy, which he simplified, retaining only the structure.
The 2000s: A Perfect Fusion
Ho Kan developed his art and transformed Eastern and Western cultural duality a veritable fusion between the two cultures. This was a period of mastery in which Ho Kan succeeded in creating a perfect harmony between forms and colors. He used dark colors to attenuate the luminosity of colors such as red, orange, and green, which gave the composition perfect equilibrium.
In the series “Origine” and “Développement,” the use of small dots in his paintings was influenced by Chinese aesthetics: “a single touch of red amongst thousands and thousands of greens.”
Ho Kan Today: A Quest for Spirituality
This mature period also highlights the omnipresent spirituality in his artistic approach. The simplification of forms and the restricted use of color in his compositions echo Chan Buddhism and Taoism, which both advocate simplicity via a minimal use of colors and forms.
Throughout his artistic career, he has developed an abstract geometric style but has never succumbed to a pure geometric style; underlying his lines are the calligraphic vivacity and energy of his cultural heritage.
The Ambivalence of Abstraction
In this room the viewer is invited to contemplate the artist’s dreamlike world and the symbols he uses. One is tempted to imagine possible interpretations of visual elements that seem to exist in his paintings, in the same way that Chinese characters sometimes evoke figurative visual forms.
Although it is possible to discern figures (a colorful fish or a bird, for example), they are quite incidental. They happen to be coincidences that might correspond with the Taoist philosophy of Wei Wuwei (meaning “accomplishing without doing”).
So, is his art abstract or figurative? Ho Kan does not see this as particularly important—what really matters to him is the sheer pleasure of painting.
Sabine Vazieux（莎賓．瓦季尤）（法國人，1972-）是鑽研現代藝術的歐洲專家聯盟(l’Alliance Européenne des Experts)成員，以往專攻西方的戰後抽象繪畫，近幾年來致力於探索東方亞洲文化和西方藝術美學的對話。
身為歐洲戰後抽象藝術的專家，Sabine Vazieux近年來積極地投入亞洲抽象先鋒的研究，如東方畫會霍剛、夏陽、蕭勤、蕭明賢、李元佳…憑藉著自身的專業敏感度，她開始策展1950年代至今的抽象藝術作品。在研究與發現這批先驅藝術家的過程中更激勵她走遍世界各地去拜訪他們，她不畏艱難地走訪多位前輩藝術家的工作室，更讓這些作品有機會進入世界級博物館以及名藏家的收藏中。此外，Sabine Vazieux也和多家博物館合作，透過畫廊與博物館機構的合作，這些藝術家將能夠更廣泛地被認識。
2017.6.15 – 9.24在比利時Ixelles Museum（伊克塞爾博物館），FROM CHINA TO TAÏWAN : Pioneers of Abstraction 1955-1985 《從中國到臺灣 : 抽象藝術先鋒 1955-1985》，參展藝術家有趙無極、朱德群、李仲生、陳庭詩、劉國松、霍剛、蕭勤、蕭明賢、李元佳、林壽宇…是西方國家第一次回顧20世紀華人抽象藝術家的創作起源與演變的特展，此展覽由Sabine Vazieux策展，意在溯源中國抽象繪畫的發展。
[ 學歷 ]
[ 經歷 ]
比利時，布魯塞爾 Ixelles 博物館，「從中國到台灣：抽象藝術先鋒」⼤展策展⼈ — 2017
法國，巴黎，WEast Collection收藏協會會長 — 2010—至今
法國，巴黎，AEE – Alliance Européenne des Experts d’art — 2005—至今
法國，巴黎，拍賣鑑定師顧問 — 2000—至今
法國，巴黎，Galerie Sabine Vazieux，經理⼈ — 1998—至今
法國，巴黎，LOUDMER 拍賣會，展會策劃師 — 1995—1997
義大利蒙札皇宮美術館 (The Villa Reale of Minza, Italy)